Christopher Hodges

Paper: 1988 - 2012

19 September - 13 October 2012

exhibition essay

CHRISTOPHER HODGES - PAPER: 1988 - 2012
By Chloe Watson

An exhibition of works on paper by Christopher Hodges may come as a surprise to some: not only to those who know him primarily as a sculptor – exhibiting forms (often ‘flat’) constructed out of steel or emanating light, but also to those who have only encountered him in his alternate role as director of Utopia Art Sydney.

Working on paper has been a central element of Hodges’ practice throughout his artistic career, and his sculptural forms often replicate his two-dimensional line-making. That said, his paper works are not simply a means of fleshing out ideas for canvas or sculpture, but an end in themselves:

I’ve got little sketch books and drawing books where I work out ideas, and they’re not works of art, they are sketch books and drawing books. But when I use paper, making an artwork, I don’t view it as any less than can- vas, its just different.

This survey charts the changing motifs of Hodges’ drawings and paintings on paper, from his 1988 trip to New York to the present:

I’m looking forward to seeing these works up on a wall together, because I’ve never seen them all in a line... I’ve got some very abstract works, I’ve got some figurative works, I’ve got some linear marks that curl through the paper that everyone will recognise, and I’ve got some pieces that are more graphic and minimal. So, it will be very interesting to see those years laid out in a single room and to see which works make sense in a line.

Hodges’ symbolic, iconic, forms have evolved from the silhouetted ‘everyman’ figure of the late 1980s to the organic geometry of his 2009 series of ‘curves’. His most recent works continue an exploration of ‘objects in space that are more and more and more simple’.

Since his trip to New York in 1988, Hodges has constructed large-scale works out of multiple panels of Stonehenge paper in a uniform size – not only an economical move, readily stacked and easily packed away, but an aesthetic one. As a sculptor/painter, Hodges is finely attuned to the way objects exist in space. This manifests itself in the elec- tric figure-ground relationship of painted motif on the disrupted field of a multi-panel paper work.

This survey will provide the opportunity to see Hodges’ work in the context of an evolving vocabulary of painted forms on paper.

CHRISTOPHER HODGES - PAPER: 1988 - 2012
By Chloe Watson

An exhibition of works on paper by Christopher Hodges may come as a surprise to some: not only to those who know him primarily as a sculptor – exhibiting forms (often ‘flat’) constructed out of steel or emanating light, but also to those who have only encountered him in his alternate role as director of Utopia Art Sydney.

Working on paper has been a central element of Hodges’ practice throughout his artistic career, and his sculptural forms often replicate his two-dimensional line-making. That said, his paper works are not simply a means of fleshing out ideas for canvas or sculpture, but an end in themselves:

I’ve got little sketch books and drawing books where I work out ideas, and they’re not works of art, they are sketch books and drawing books. But when I use paper, making an artwork, I don’t view it as any less than can- vas, its just different.

This survey charts the changing motifs of Hodges’ drawings and paintings on paper, from his 1988 trip to New York to the present:

I’m looking forward to seeing these works up on a wall together, because I’ve never seen them all in a line... I’ve got some very abstract works, I’ve got some figurative works, I’ve got some linear marks that curl through the paper that everyone will recognise, and I’ve got some pieces that are more graphic and minimal. So, it will be very interesting to see those years laid out in a single room and to see which works make sense in a line.

Hodges’ symbolic, iconic, forms have evolved from the silhouetted ‘everyman’ figure of the late 1980s to the organic geometry of his 2009 series of ‘curves’. His most recent works continue an exploration of ‘objects in space that are more and more and more simple’.

Since his trip to New York in 1988, Hodges has constructed large-scale works out of multiple panels of Stonehenge paper in a uniform size – not only an economical move, readily stacked and easily packed away, but an aesthetic one. As a sculptor/painter, Hodges is finely attuned to the way objects exist in space. This manifests itself in the elec- tric figure-ground relationship of painted motif on the disrupted field of a multi-panel paper work.

This survey will provide the opportunity to see Hodges’ work in the context of an evolving vocabulary of painted forms on paper.